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A Travelling Cook: October 2012

A Travelling Cook

A Travelling Cook: October 2012

Monday, October 8, 2012

Craftivism, consumerism and spending money on recycled materials...

As well as labour issues, there's also the big trend towards eco-logical crafting -recuse, remake, recycle, repair the wold- using trends such as felting. Felting is where you can re-use old sweaters as fabric to make gloves, hats, whatever you like really....You can either knit your item and felt it, or felt existing items (such as jumpers) and use the material to make your item. This is where the issues begin for me. Felting shrinks wool. So you may need lots of jumpers. Unless you have a bundle handle ( and enough space to store them), you may have to go buy second hand jumpers. To felt, you need to use lots of hot water and mutiple hot wash cycles. You may even choose to use your clothes dryer. This translates to lots of water and electricity. I live in Australia in the middle of a massive drought. Big carbon footprint.

I can give you another example. I thought I'd make some coasters. So picked up some second hand coasters to cover in paper. This required buying the coasters and some spray glue and spray varnish. The varnish didn't work so I had to buy a thicker one and a paintbrush. So my second hand coasters ended up costing me, oh, $40 plus to make. And it's not like I'd ever spend $40 on coasters, regardless of who made them. Of course, I will reuse the glue and varnishes and I was an active participant in my craft from which I derived some enjoyment
( the varnish dilemma aside) but it was hardly an ecofriendly exercise!

Things I am Thinking About:

Where do my materials come from?What carbon footprint does my crafting leave?How much time do I spend shopping for materials?How much money do I spend on materials?Have I spent money to make money? 
What are my materials worth?What is my labour worth?

In thinking about all this I have decided to take ONE MONTH from the start of next week (that's Monday April 7th) to see how I manage crafting without buying anything. No buying more fabric 'just in case' or another quick underpick because I can't be bothered looking for the three I already own. No more spending money to make money. No more buying things I don't really need and the expense of things I already have. But I don't want this to be an excuse to do nothing. I intend to be as productive as always in the next month. Maybe more so. Maybe this will give me a chance to try some craft techniques I've always been scared of due to the prohibitive initial outlay (mosaque and screen printing anyone?) Who knows? Anyhow watch this blog and see how I go....

PS: you can read another take on What would Jesus Sell here and also Etsy's response.

PPS: Another site you might like:

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